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US Imperialism and Neo-Imperialism


Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Postcolonial History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444334982.2016.x


For much of its history, the United States had been thought by many to be exempt from the study of colonialism and empire. Only recently have postcolonial studies and American studies each begun to consider the other's methods, themes, and concerns as mutually significant and have scholars undertaken the systematic study of colonialism and empire in the United States. Understanding the specific character and modes of US imperialism and neo-imperialism requires grasping not only how the nation has expanded, and its occupation or control over other peoples, but the way in which this history has been represented in cultural and political discourse. American culture has long portrayed the nation as a post -colony, having won its freedom from the British crown and subsequently established itself as a democratically self-governed republic. American cultural and political discourses have thus long stressed the exceptional character of the United States, as a nation whose subects enoy political equality and social liberties, free from tyrannical power. Over the course of its history, the United States certainly acquired colonial holdings – most notably island territories in the Caribbean and Pacific, such as the Philippines and Puerto Rico, after the conclusion of the Spanish-American War in 1898. However, US imperialism has most often been treated as episodic and occasional, rather ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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